My Top 100 pubs are picked purely on merit, just like Beer Guide entries (#discountvouchers). However, I was glad I was able to confirm at least one of those pubs to be in Hastings, one of the great pub towns, a Ramsgate without the micros if you like.
It’s also one of our most picturesque Old Towns, with George St and High St a gorgeous stretch, despite occasional reminders of WWII losses.
Even the workaday new town looked picturesque on Friday night.
The Jenny Lind gets the nod over the First In Last Out and the Dolphin, mainly because I can show you a picture of a cat playing a fiddle to promote a pub. Even the Bag of Nails can’t do that.
On my second visit as part of Hastings folk week I had the undoubted benefit of high beer turnover, but it wasn’t just the old folkies on the real stuff.
Traditional folk isn’t really my thing, but Titus had a chemistry and joy to their set that kept me there for the fifteen minutes (I’m slacking) it took to enjoy a Franklins Pale (NBSS 3.5). I almost stayed for an Olde Peculiar but then I wouldn’t have discovered the Wildflowers…
A range of ten wasn’t exceptional, but it’s rare to see so many “mainstreamers” in a specialist beer house. Peculiar, Deuchars, Hobgoblin, Speckled Hen and Directors are beers you’ve heard of, and were the beers of choice on music night. Franklins and Long Man make up the local representation.
Discounts available for loyalty to the pub, not the Campaign, by the way.
On a more representative mid-week visit last year I’d been impressed by a traditional pub with a good mix of customers, and plenty of proper seating to enjoy a pint and a read.
I can’t think of a better place to stay than either, right in the heart of the High Street